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CRITERIA FOR CLASSIFICATION OF ELECTRICAL CABLES
The main criterion of the classification of electrical cables under the new European CPR fundamentally analyses two aspects: the reaction of electrical cables to fire and their emission of dangerous substances.
The CPR defines several classes that indicate the impact of cables on the spread of fire, using a series of parameters obtained from the corresponding tests.
The CPR includes four classes that apply directly to electrical cables: B2, C, D and E.
These classes refer to combustible cables ranked in order of fire growth rate (FIGRA) and heat release.
Cables classified as B2 and C are those with maximum performance against fire, providing maximum protection to people and equipment.
Cables belonging to classes D and E have a more basic level of safety.
ADDITIONAL LEVELS OF CLASSIFICATION
Three additional classification levels have been established; these refer to:
- The opacity of smoke emitted (s = smoke)
- The droplets released by the cable in combustion (d = droplets)
- The acidity – or toxicity – of the smoke (a = acidity)
1. SMOKE OPACITY
The following performance criteria for smoke emission have been established:
- s1: Little production and slow propagation of smoke
- s1a: S1 with visibility over 80% (UNE-EN 61034-2).
- s1b: S1 with visibility over 60% and below 80% (UNE-EN 61034-2).
- s2: Intermediate values of production and propagation of smoke
- s3: Neither s1 or s2
2. FALL OF DROPLETS DURING COMBUSTION
The following performance criteria for droplets / flamed particles have been established:
- d0: No fall of droplets or flamed particles(UNE-EN 50399).
- d1: Fall of droplets and flamed particles that persist for less than 10 seconds(UNE-EN 50399).
- d2: Neither d0 or d1.
3. SMOKE ACIDITY
The following performance criteria for acidity have been established:
- a1: Low acidity (UNE-EN 60754-2 conductivity <2,5ms/mm y pH > 4.3)
- a2: Intermediate values of acid (UNE-EN 60754-2 conductivity <10 ms/mm y pH > 4.3)
- a3: Neither a1 or a2
Classes E ca and F ca have no additional classification criteria.
A SINGLE EUROPEAN CLASSIFICATION
The CPR performance code (reaction to fire class and additional classification) must appear on the cable labelling, together with the other marks.
This new European classification system enables the easy comparison of different products in order to select the most suitable cable for each type of installation.
For more information, you can watch the video that summarises the CPR classes by clicking on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nocFnf03RZA&t=22s